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Healthy-ish Turkey Helper

Did you Know?

Betty Crocker’s Hamburger Helper was created in the 1970s during a meat shortage as a way to create a quick, easy, and cheap meal for families. The concept of this classic family-friendly dish was created to “help” utilize a smaller amount of ground beef in an economical and delicious way, and it has remained an incredibly useful tool to help stretch a family’s budget. The boxed dinner contains a box of noodles, and powdered seasonings and is meant to be combined with ground beef.

In a recipe I created for Adams Fairacre Farms, I took the original “boxed dinner” idea and lightened it up using real ingredients you can pronounce. I replaced the magic pouch of seasonings with paprika, dried oregano, and plenty of salt and pepper, and made a creamy homemade sauce with chicken broth, milk, and tomato sauce. I chose a fun pasta, but skipped the beef this time and used ground turkey instead, (you can still use beef if you prefer!) along with plenty of my favorite Adams own sharp cheddar cheese. I hope you enjoy this lightened-up version and it brings you back to your childhood and/or college days!

Serves: 8

Prep time: 30 minutes


1-pound lean ground turkey1 chopped medium onion

2 tablespoons minced garlic

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup milk

1 cup tomato sauce

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

3 cups of fun-shaped pasta

1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar

Parsley for garnish

Salt and pepper

Olive oil


  1. Pour some olive oil into a pan and cook onion, garlic, and turkey.

  2. Add the broth, milk, and tomato sauce with seasonings and bring to a slight boil.

  3. Mix uncooked pasta in and cook until pasta is tender.

  4. Stir in cheese, add parsley for garnish, and serve hot.

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